Development, N.G.Os and Foreign Aid

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
19 May 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L900 International Development,
BA L901 International Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA L902 International Development (Including Placement Year),
BA L921 International Development (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module examines international development and foreign aid combining theory, empirics and practice.

In the first part of the module, we examine theories and concepts of development and the evaluation of development interventions. We then focus in on foreign aid.
The second part of the module examines the policies and politics of foreign aid from the perspective of donor countries, international organizations and recipient countries.

The third part of the module examines the, sometimes controversial, role of foreign aid in three issue areas: international security, migration and global health.
Throughout the module, we examine a range of N.G.O. development programmes and their outcomes and, finally, students are given a chance to develop a proposal for a development programme of their own.

Module aims

This module aims to give students:

1. An introduction to theories and concepts of international development, including those used in practical settings by NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and researchers.
2. A multifaceted understanding of foreign aid, by examining three different perspectives: donor countries, intergovernmental organizations and international NGOs, and recipient countries.
3. An examination of important debates in foreign aid through the lens of three important issue areas.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will have:

1. A detailed understanding of key concepts and theories of international development.
2. A critical awareness of the various actors and perspectives in the study of international development.
3. Critical problem-solving skills applied to difficult issues in international development.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

1 x 2 hour seminar per week


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Critical Summary    30% 
Coursework   Topic and literature review for Concept note    30% 
Coursework   Concept Note     40% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Miranda Simon, email: miranda.simon@essex.ac.uk.
Dr. Miranda Simon
Module Supervisor: Miranda Simon - miranda.simon@essex.ac.uk / Module Administrator: Jasini Hobbs - govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Edward Morgan-Jones
University of Kent
Reader in Comparative Politics
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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